Bulbophyllum medusae

Bulbophyllum medusae

Bulbophyllum medusae is also known as Cirrhopetalum medusae.

This orchid is named after Gorgon Medusa of Greek mythology since the long lateral sepals of its flowers are rather like the snakes that formed Medusa's hair. It is an epiphytic orchid from the Malay Peninsula, Thailand and Borneo. It has stiff dark green leaves about 10 cm long. A single leaf emerges from each of the walnut-sized pseudobulbs. It blooms in the fall or early winter. It is a creeping orchid and it can spread to cover the pot or slab it is living on. Plants may have many clusters of flowers -- each cluster is comprised of 30-100 tiny flowers each with long slender sepals. The sepals may be as long as 15 cm. In the wild it grows hanging from trees and rocks so the flower spikes may emerge from the base of each pseudobulb. Hence, an open basket is best. It has a strong fragrance that some find agreeable and others find disagreeable.

First mentioned in Annales Botanices Systematicae in 1864.

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